nonrenewable

adjective non·re·new·able \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl , -ˈnyü- \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of nonrenewable

: not able to be renewed : not renewable
  • a nonrenewable service contract
; especially : unable to be replaced or replenished once used
  • … most of the natural resources that we exploit for energy and minerals are nonrenewable. Once they have been used up, they cannot be replenished—at least in our lifetime.
  • —Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman
  • A nonrenewable resource is a resource that cannot be replaced after it is used. Minerals and many fuels are nonrenewable resources.
  • —Dr. Timothy Cooney et al.
  • Physical and economic shortages of nonrenewable resources require research programs aimed at developing renewable replacement resources.
  • Predicasts Technology Update
  • Lubbock is the principal city of the semi-arid southern High Plains of Texas, where the extensive, nonrenewable Ogallala aquifer is the major water resource.
  • AAG Abstracts

Recent Examples of nonrenewable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonrenewable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nonrenewable

1903

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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NONRENEWABLE Defined for Kids

nonrenewable

adjective non·re·new·able \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl , -ˈnyü- \

Definition of nonrenewable for Students

: not restored or replaced by natural processes in a short period of time
  • Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource.

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